The Supreme Court on Friday (September 4) refused to entertain a plea filed by six states to reconsider their request to put off the engineering and medical exams JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) and NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The six opposition-ruled states (Maharashtra, Bengal, Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Puducherry) had asked the court to review its earlier order and put off the exams for the safety of students.
Justices Ashok Bhushan, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari said, “No case is made out for reconsidering our earlier decision.” The SC had on August 17 rejected a similar request by 11 students from 11 states.
JEE started on September 1 and will continue till September 6 and the NEET exam is scheduled to be held on September 13.
Bengal CM Mamata Bannerjee has claimed that lakhs of students from her state were unable to take the exam.
In its August 17 order, the Supreme Court had refused to interfere with the entrance exams saying “life must go on” and “students can’t lose a precious year due to the pandemic”.
The states were clearly not happy with the court’s verdict. They said the top court order failed to secure students’ “right to life”. The states also put up an argument citing “logistical issues” in conducting the exams.
“It is submitted that if the (August 17 order) is not reviewed then grave and irreparable harm and injury would befall on the student community of our country and not only will the health, welfare and safety of the students/candidates appearing for the NEET/JEE examinations would stand imperiled but also the public health at large would be in severe jeopardy in these COVID-19 pandemic times,” the joint plea said.